All articles in 'Learn Excel' Category

Designing a dashboard to track Employee vacations [case study]

Published on Jan 24, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel

Employee Vacation Dashboard & Tracker using Excel

HR managers & department heads always ask, “So what is the vacation pattern of our employees? What is our average absent rate?”

Today lets tackle that question and learn how to create a dashboard to monitor employee vacations.

What do HR Managers need? (end user needs)

There are 2 aspects tracking vacations.

1. Data entry for vacations taken by employees
2. Status dashboard to summarize vacation data

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What is Power Pivot – an Introduction [video]

Published on Jan 21, 2013 in Learn Excel, Power Pivot
What is Power Pivot – an Introduction [video]

Today, lets talk about Power Pivot & understand it.
What is Power Pivot?
Power Pivot is an Excel add-in to connect, analyze & visualize massive amounts of data..

Lets take a closer look at the definition.

Connect: You can use multiple tables of data & set up relationships between them using Power Pivot. For example, you can connect customer details to sales transactions so that you can summarize sales by customer location or gender easily.

Analyze: You can create simple pivot table style reports or create something exceedingly complex by defining your own calculated fields for values area of the pivot. There is a whole set of formulas defined for exactly this purpose, called as DAX formulas.

Visualize: Instantly filter your reports using slicers, time lines (Excel 2013 or above only), conditional formats, pivot charts etc. You can even define KPIs and see the performance in bands.

Massive Amounts of Data: Although your typical Excel worksheet contains a million rows, if you tried to load even half of those with any data, Excel would quickly become slow & lazy. Power Pivot can take a million rows for breakfast and would be hungry for more. It can processes millions of rows of data very quickly and easily, all from the comfort of a standard desktop or laptop.

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Top 10 Formulas for Aspiring Analysts

Published on Jan 16, 2013 in Learn Excel
Top 10 Formulas for Aspiring Analysts

Few weeks ago, someone asked me “What are the top 10 formulas?” That got me thinking.

While each of us have our own list of favorite, most frequently used formulas, there is no standard list of top 10 formulas for everyone. So, today let me attempt that.

If you want to become a data or business analyst then you must develop good understanding of Excel formulas & become fluent in them.

A good analyst should be familiar with below 10 formulas to begin with.

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3 upcoming courses to Make you awesome [Announcements]

Published on Jan 9, 2013 in Learn Excel, products
3 upcoming courses to Make you awesome [Announcements]

A quick announcement for all of you aiming to become awesome in Excel in 2013.

I am very happy to share our course timeline for first 3 months of 2013.
Upcoming Courses:
Here is a summary of courses I am planning to launch in next 3 months. I will be posting more details about these courses soon.

1. Finance for Non-finance people

Learn about financial basics, financial analysis thru Excel in our finance for non-finance people course. Designed by my partners at Pristine education, this course helps you gain insights to finance world quickly.

This course will be launched Thursday, January 10th – 2013

2. Power Pivot School

Jump in to power pivot, analyze data & extract insights like a pro by going thru this program. Aimed at Excel analysts & reporting professionals, this course helps you unleash power of PowerPivot to do awesome things.

This course will be launched on Wednesday, February 6th – 2013

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Best of – 2012

Published on Dec 31, 2012 in blogging, Learn Excel
Best of – 2012

This year has been the busiest year since the inception of We had 161 posts, 8,900+ comments, 33,500+ forum posts. We have trained more than 2,500 students thru training programs like Excel School & VBA Classes this year alone. More than 6.5 million people visited our site this year (up 82%),  consuming a whopping […]

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2013 Calendar – Excel Template [Downloads]

Published on Dec 26, 2012 in Learn Excel
2013 Calendar – Excel Template [Downloads]

Here is a New year gift to all our readers – free 2013 Excel Calendar Template.

This calender has,

  • One page full calendar with notes, in 4 different color schemes
  • Daily event planner & tracker
  • 1 Mini calendar
  • Monthly calendar (prints to 12 pages)
  • Works for any year, just change year in Full tab.
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Excel Links – Lets meet in Chennai this Sunday edition

Published on Nov 26, 2012 in excel links

Hi readers… I am in Chennai this week, conducting in-house training at Renault Nissan on Advanced Excel. As I am busy teaching Excel & making young graduates awesome in it, I will not be able to write much on the blog. But don’t worry. We have some great articles coming up from Hui & other […]

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Please help me design our new product: Vitamin XL

Published on Oct 19, 2012 in Learn Excel, products
Please help me design our new product: Vitamin XL

Hello friends, fans & well wishers of,

I am happy to announce about our new product – Vitamin XL, a membership program for you. I want to make sure that Vitamin XL offers you the best possible features & value. I need your help in designing this product. Please read this short article and give me your feedback.
What is Vitamin XL?
Just like vitamins you give you strength and health, Vitamin XL ups your Excel mojo, gives you new ideas & powers. Here is what I have in mind:

Vitamin XL is a membership program with 3 distinct benefits

  1. Excel Training
  2. Excel Resources
  3. Excel user community
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Excel Formatting Tips – Gangnam Style [open thread]

Published on Oct 5, 2012 in Learn Excel
Excel Formatting Tips – Gangnam Style [open thread]

Ever seen a glaring, over the top, wow-I-am-sooo-cool type of spreadsheet? Lets call them Gangnam spreadsheets!

Gangnam what?!?

If you have never heard about Gangnam style, do not worry. Just like you I too was living under a rock for about a week ago. Then I watched the awesome Gangnam style song. And now I am hooked. You can see it here.

What has all this got to do with Excel?
Oh I am coming to the point. One of the key ingredients of being awesome in Excel is,

To make our Excel workbooks communicate best by avoiding over the top formatting, unnecessary bells & whistles and focusing on what our users want.

But Excel being a feature rich software, it does have various so called Gangnam styles – superfluous 3d effects, formatting options, charting choices and as such.

Today, lets talk Excel formatting – Gangnam style

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18.2 Tips on Rounding numbers using Excel Formulas

Published on Sep 28, 2012 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
18.2 Tips on Rounding numbers using Excel Formulas

Lets talk round numbers today.I have 18.2 tips for you on round numbers.

We can use a variety of formulas to round numbers in Excel depending on the situation. We have ROUND, ROUNDUP, ROUNDDOWN, MROUND, INT, TRUNC, CEILING, FLOOR, FIXED, EVEN, ODD and few more. To know how to use all these formulas and how to round numbers based on any criteria, just read on.

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Introducing Excel School + Excel Hero Academy Bundle

Published on Sep 25, 2012 in Learn Excel, products

Hello friends & readers,

I am super-excited to announce an my first joint Excel course with none other than Excel Hero – Daniel Ferry. For the the first time, you get basic, intermediate, advanced & super-advanced Excel + VBA course in one neat package.

I am happy to present Excel School + Excel Hero Academy course bundle for your consideration.

What is this course bundle & How it can help you?

Simply put, this course package is designed to make you 2x awesome in Excel, VBA & Dashboards. Please watch below video to understand how our course can help you.

Excel School plus EHA bundle Introduction

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OFFSET formula – Explained

Published on Sep 17, 2012 in Learn Excel
OFFSET formula – Explained

Today, lets learn OFFSET formula.
OFFSET formula gives us reference to a range, from a given starting point with given height and width in cells.

OFFSET formula syntax
OFFSET formula looks like this:
=OFFSET(starting point, rows to move, columns to move, height, width)

Starting point: This is a cell or range from which you want to offset
Rows & columns to move: How many rows & columns you want to move the starting point. Both of these can be positive, negative or zero. More on this below.
Height & width: This is the size of range you want to return. For ex. 4,3 would give you a range with 4 cells tall & 3 cells wide.

Read on…,

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Excel Links – Going to Togo Edition

Published on Sep 4, 2012 in excel links

After a long time, I am writing one more Excel links post. First let me share a quick personal update.

I am invited to Lome, Togo to spend a day at Ecobank – CFO conference in 3rd week of September. I will be conducting a one day masterclass on Advanced Excel & Dashboard Reporting. I am excited about this trip as I have never been to any African country. I will post some pics and tell you how it went once I am done with the conference.

Moving on to Excel Links for today,

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Growing a Money Mustache using Excel [for fun]

Published on Aug 22, 2012 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
Growing a Money Mustache using Excel [for fun]

Mustache and Excel?!? Sounds as unlikely as 3D pie charts & Peltier. But I have a story to tell. So grab a cup of coffee and follow me.

Today, lets talk about how to construct a dynamic chart that can show us how much progress we have made against a financial goal (in this case, accumulating a big chunk of money). I call this growing mustache chart, inspired from the wonderful Mr. Money Mustache.

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Making your dashboards interactive [Dashboard Essentials]

Published on Aug 2, 2012 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Making your dashboards interactive [Dashboard Essentials]

Everyone likes to be in control. Even my 2 year old daughter jumps with joy when she lays her hands on TV remote. She pushes the buttons and assumes it is working. It is another story that we rarely watch TV at home.

By adding an element of control, we can make our dashboard reports fun. Interactive elements like form controls, slicers etc. invite users to play with your dashboard, get involved and understand data by asking questions. That is why I recommend making dashboards interactive.

Today lets understand how you can make dashboards interactive.

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